July Spotlight: Lead Generation Ideas
Does your business have more leads than it can handle? If not then you'll want to follow along in July as we explore all types of lead generation ideas. We'll take a look at using technology for lead generation, tried and true methods, out of the box ideas, and being involved in the community. Each week we'll have a quick introduction and then the content you really want: IDEAS. We encourage you to print out these articles, take them to your sales meeting, and encourage your staff to brainstorm ways to implement these ideas.
Using Technology in Lead Generation
Whether you're a technology expert or a novice, there are lead generations strategies using technology that can help you grow your business. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Prospect Smarter - Imagine getting a card with a picture of you or even of your website on it. Inside there's a link. Of course you're curious so you follow that link to a customized video. Immediately you have the attention of your target market. It's a new and innovative way to capture their attention.
- Call Fire - Offers several services, but if you want to supercharge a calling campaign check out their cloud calling campaign. Save time and boost morale of callers as you skip voice-mails leaving pre-recorded messages and only talk to those prospects that answer.
- Help a Reporter (HARO) - Register to be an expert in your field of business! The go to place when a reporter needs someone to interview for a story. Great way to be an "expert" and be mentioned in relevant press pieces.
- Mail Chimp - Email campaigns are a great way to stay in touch with your leads. Mail Chimp provides a free plan that is robust enough to get most businesses owners started with email marketing. If you're already doing an email campaign, you might look into auto responders. Auto responders let you set criteria such as "new client" or a birthdate and send targeted messages to contacts fitting the criteria. For instance, you can set new clients up to receive a welcome email or a series of welcome emails that explain part of your services to them.
- Pay Per Click - Google is the first service that comes to mind, but many other online sites are using the pay per click model in selling advertisements. You might consider Facebook or even LinkedIn as a place to run an ad. The best part is that by using the pay per click method you can target your clients and stay within a set budget.
- Claim It - In the world we live in, your business is "listed" and collecting reviews without you lifting a finger. Sites like Yelp, Urbanspoon, Angieslist, Google, and Yahoo are collecting your data and sharing it. The bad news is that if you're not proactive, there's no one to tell if that information is correct or flattering to your brand. Make sure you claim your businesses starting with main sites such as Google and Yahoo and then venturing into industry specific sites. It doesn't take much time as the same information can be used across all platforms, but it's an important step.
- SEO - You may have read our in depth articles on SEO a while back, but it bears repeating. More and more people are turning to search engines to find places to spend their money. Don't fall asleep behind the wheel.
- Video - There are many platforms that allow you to share quick videos with your clients including Instagram, Vimeo, Vine, and YouTube. You many think, "I don't have the means to create a video," but these days creating a short video is as simple as pulling out your cell phone. The videos don't need to be long, but should focus on entertaining and informing your target market. Check out Lowes Fix in Six(#lowesfixinsix) video clips on quick home improvement tips done in six seconds to see a quick and affordable way of using video.
- Speaking of #lowesfixinsix - Don't forget about hashtags. Hashtags are simply ways to search on social media sites. Using sites like Tag Board you can search across multiple social sites. You can use the hashtags to start a trend such as encouraging people to use a certain hashtag when discussing your business or you can search hashtags that would lead you to people that would be likely to like your products and services.
- QR Codes - Chances are you've seen a QR code like the one pictured to the right, but have you thought about how you can use them in your business? Many people think QR codes are used to take you to a website and they can, but there's also many other features. You can create QR codes to download contact information, to make a phone call, send a text message, and so much more. They're easy to generate using free technology (try QR Stuff or google QR generator for more). How do you use them in Lead Generation? They can be used in conjunction with campaigns that you have now such as websites, fliers, brochures, and emails. Others are being more creative with them by putting them on billboards, t-shirts, name badges, and more. Software such as Delivr allows you to track the success of your campaign.
- Swipely - Geared to the retail and restaurant industries, this software allows you to scan your receipts and mine customer data to increase your sales. After all, the easiest leads you can find are your current clients.
- Mine for leads - There are plenty of tools that you may already know to mine for leads online. Some of the common ones include the free to use Manta or the pay for service Sales Genie. A new trend that you might keep an eye on is sites such as Business Leads that are using crowdsourcing to generate leads. The idea is that you offer a referral fee to anyone that connects you to a quality lead.
- Online Forums - Become known as an expert in your field. People turn to the internet for advice in online forums and there are forums out there for just about every industry. LinkedIn, Yahoo Answers, and Ask.com are great examples of national forums. It's worth noting that if your target market is limited based on geography you might look for more local forums. At the same time, participating in the national ones will also allow you to continue to build your SEO. This way if a lead does type in your name they can see your activity which starts to set you up as an expert in your field.
- Build an App - Think an app is out of reach for your small business? Think again! There are many companies that allow you to create affordable apps without knowing how to program. Check out Como as one example or simply google "apps without programming" for more options.